Story: Tuatara



Tuatara have a single row of teeth in their lower jaw, and a double row in their upper jaw (obscured by the top lip). When the jaws close, the bottom row fits between the two upper rows. The teeth are actually serrated extensions of the jawbone. Once they wear down they are not replaced, and some old tuatara have almost smooth jaws.

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Victoria University of Wellington
Photograph by Stephanie Godfrey

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How to cite this page:

Charles Daugherty and Susan Keall, 'Tuatara - Tuatara islands', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 March 2023)

Story by Charles Daugherty and Susan Keall, published 24 Sep 2007